A case of corruptionThe police handled the case of Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn in a bizarre manner. Kim is accused of having been involved in a revenge attack. The police knew about the case immediately after that incident, but tried to cover it up for nearly two months. After media reports emerged, the police got busy carrying out an investigation with no substantial result, so far.
On Tuesday, the police raided Kim’s house, but he and his men were prepared. There is a strong suspicion that the senior police officers intended to cover up the case from the beginning.
Experienced investigators at the National Police Agency heard about the case the day after the incident and investigated it for more than two weeks before reporting it to senior officers. However, senior officials treated it as a rumor and delivered the case to the Namdaemun precinct. By the time the case was delivered, the chief of the local precinct had already received a call from an advisor to the Hanwha Group, Choi Ki-moon, who was the former head of the National Police Agency. The police did not begin an official investigation into the case. This is odd in every respect.
The police agency plans to find out why the investigation team delayed the internal investigation and whether there was pressure from the outside. It is very unusual to monitor investigators who are working on a case. It is suspicious for senior police officials to try to put the blame for the delay in the investigation on the working investigators and make an attempt to help the accused deflect the charges.
If the police had handled the case in the right manner from the beginning, there would have been no problems. But it appears that they protected the business tycoon, making the case more complex.
The police lose the trust of the people, and the social atmosphere turns against conglomerates. The police can no longer claim that they are independent of other forces.
Two things must be uncovered. One is whether Kim actually beat the victims and the other is whether the police tried to bury the case. However, it is questionable whether senior officials at the National Police Agency, who treated the case as a report that could not be confirmed, and police agency head Lee Taek-soon, who said he learned about the case through media reports, can find the truth.
Police leaders, not investigators, are the ones who should be monitored because this case seems very likely to turn out to be a case of police corruption.